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It had been a hot day, but the sky was clouded over with ominous darkness. Subaru hated days like that, days where the air hummed with damp heat and tension but the rain refused to come. It always put him on edge, as though the upcoming storm was some sort of ill portent.

It wasn't something he could entirely rule out. Then again, maybe storms just made him feel uneasy.

Humid days were the kind of days where he could never focus. His hair stuck to his nape and his skin was damp, sticky, clothes plastered to his body. Heat and humidity led to lethargy; even walking seemed like a chore. Subaru wished he had air con installed in his apartment, but it always seemed like too much effort to arrange when the summer was at its peak-- it would only last a little longer, he always thought, too great an expense and effort and he couldn't be bothered. He'd install it next season, maybe, but every winter he forgot how much he hated the summer and the heating costs made him cringe. It obviously wasn't worth paying that much all year round, or so it seemed when it was cool.

It was early autumn now, but still too hot. He regretted the lack of cooling system; he wondered why he never seemed to learn. Nothing was as sharp in memory as it had been in experience. He had a tendency to underestimate that.

Just as he had underestimated the heat, so too had he underestimated how seeing Seishirou again after all this time would affect him. Subaru couldn't discern between the real changes and the details blurred over and forgotten through time and perception: had Seishirou's eyes always been that particular shade of amber? He didn't remember it being so striking, but colours in one's mind are never so bright as the real thing.

He hadn't been able to push Seishirou from his thoughts for nine years, and he still couldn't. It was a shock to see Seishirou outside of his mind, when he was always there on the inside too. It almost gave him a headache, or perhaps a heartache; something ached, at any rate. It felt unnatural: he could cope with being without Seishirou when Seishirou may as well have dropped out of existence, but he couldn't cope with such a small distance between them. So close, so far-- it felt wrong not to reach out, somehow, wrong just to stand there and let Seishirou walk away laughing time and again.

Subaru sighed, rubbed a hand across his forehead in an attempt to stop the sweat prickling his eyes. It didn't help; both his hand and forehead were too damp. So hot.

He couldn't sleep. He wasn't able to sleep most nights, to be entirely truthful, but tonight was one of the worst. Nights like this always were- just lying there felt uncomfortable, because the bedclothes all heated up with your body and felt limp and heavy like wilting flowers. Making a noise of irritation, Subaru shifted on the bed, trying to find a spot that was cooler than the one he was lying in. No such spot existed; in compromise, Subaru kicked the sheets off to tangle around his legs.

The air was dead. He had the window open, but it was still as hot outside as in. There was no breeze, so although he was only wearing light cotton boxers and didn't have a sheet covering him anymore, he was still too hot. It was unreasonable for it to be such a high temperature in autumn. Global warming, possibly.

Subaru had the vague feeling someone was watching him, but he shook it off. Simple paranoia; there was no reason for anyone to observe him while he slept. Tried to sleep. Whatever.

Even now when it was hot and sticky and he was almost delirious with exhaustion, Subaru couldn't help but think about Seishirou. Sadly, his first thought was: I bet he has air conditioning. I bet he can get to sleep. It would be too undignified for the Sakurazukamori to be melting in a puddle of his own sweat.

The second thought he had was that that had been an incredibly silly thing to think and he couldn't believe it had even occurred to him.

Sigh again, roll over again, try to wipe his palms on the bedcovers, but they were just as damp as he was. He wondered if it would help to flip his pillow over. Probably not. It would heat up again so quickly that the effort wouldn't be worth it.

Groaning softly, Subaru pushed the hair back from his forehead. What was Seishirou doing? Enjoying his climate-controlled sleep? Subaru personally thought that it was not the kind of weather where one wanted to be out killing people. Maybe that was just him, but he assumed that Seishirou had more sense than that, so he probably was at home.

Subaru gave a tired huff of dark laughter at that, and wondered when he'd gotten such a morbid sense of humour.

So Seishirou was probably sleeping. Subaru felt a resentful flash of envy at that-- tomorrow, he'd ring about climate control tomorrow-- when it occurred to him suddenly that he'd never seen Seishirou asleep before.

Would Seishirou look as dangerous in sleep as he did in waking? He wouldn't have glasses or shades, for once, and no smirk on his lips. No suit, either. Almost certainly just boxers-- black silk, knowing Seishirou-- and… why was he thinking about this?

Subaru hated himself right now. Focus, he thought hazily, meditate, something, but the thought was more attractive than he'd like it to be. It wouldn't go away. It just got worse, in fact, when his imagination lit upon the fact that if Seishirou were as hot and sweaty as Subaru was it would presumably look very similar to if he were post-coital.

The flush that rose in Subaru's cheeks had nothing to do with the heat, for a change.

With a whimper of frustration, Subaru shifted over on to his stomach. No good, even hotter, and that didn't even help distract him from the mental image of Seishirou or, for that matter, from the connection his mind had just drawn from Seishirou to sex.

Oh, god. Why did he even think that?

Subaru flipped onto his back again-- he was making himself even more exhausted than he already had been with all this shifting-- and before he even thought about what he was doing a damp sweaty palm was sliding downward over slippery heated skin and under the waistband of his boxers.

This was not a good idea. Reminding himself of that was largely futile in the face of the kind of thoughts plaguing him right now, however. Besides, it wasn't as if logic had a lot going in its favour; this wasn't the first time he'd done this thinking of Seishirou (as if he ever did it thinking about anything but Seishirou), and it wasn't like he was going to get any sleep either way.

In fact, he was more likely to get some sleep afterwards, from a purely hormonal point of view.

Giving in to the inevitable, Subaru pushed his boxers roughly down over his hips, finding the mildest relief from one less layer. He still felt unnervingly like someone was watching him, but he ignored it; it was just a feeling, after all. With his free hand twisted in the sheets below him and his face turned half-buried into the pillow to muffle his choked-off moan, Subaru arched up into his hand--

-- and abruptly froze when another hand wrapped around his wrist, stilling him.

"Subaru-kun," an amused voice purred, "sometimes you still surprise me."

Subaru blinked, eyes hazy with lust and sweat and exhaustion and confusion.

"Seishirou-san," he managed, "what are you… what are you doing here?"

Seishirou laughed, and Subaru shivered. Not from the nonexistent cold; he felt like there would never be any cold again. He couldn't pinpoint whether it was from fear or lust or maybe some twisted combination thereof.

"I would have thought that was obvious," Seishirou said. "I was keeping an eye on you. I rather thought you'd notice before now, actually."

Watching him, and Subaru's cheeks flared into red with half-hearted embarrassment. "But why are you…"

He trailed off, not sure if he really wanted to know. "Why are you still here?" he asked instead, voice slightly high-pitched.

"That," Seishirou said, "I would have thought even more obvious."

From standing next to the bed to half leaning over it and half kneeling on it. In the dim light Subaru could see Seishirou smirking, but without allowing him time to protest or ask another meaningless question, Seishirou was tugging Subaru's hand up to his mouth. Subaru stared, wide-eyed. "What--"

And before he could even formulate a disjointed sentence in his mind, Seishirou was licking his fingers and Subaru's mind went completely blank, breath hitching unevenly.

"S-Seishirou-s-san," he said shakily. "You…"

"Did you really think I'd let you have all the fun?" Seishirou asked him. "I think not, Subaru-kun. I've been quite patient, and you present far too much temptation; I'm quite sick of waiting."

There was something heavily ironic about that, Subaru was sure, but it was a little hard to figure out what when his brain wasn't functioning so he didn't even try.

Seishirou's fingers laced between his own, other hand braced next to his head. Subaru stared up at Seishirou and was wondering if this was just another game or a hallucination when Seishirou's mouth lowered to lick the salty sheen away from his neck.

Subaru gasped, writhing slightly before he could force himself to stop, and Seishirou laughed lightly against his over-heated skin, causing a brief chill. Subaru's head was swimming-- my heart must be racing, he thought dizzily-- and when Seishirou relaxed on top of him, one leg parting Subaru's thighs, the body heat was nearly enough to make him faint.

It was really too hot for this kind of thing. Subaru didn't know how Seishirou felt about that-- maybe he was impervious to such paltry things as weather-- but he personally had ceased to care.

"Seishirou-san?" he said fuzzily.

"Shh," Seishirou murmured, mouth brushing from behind Subaru's ear to a sloppy kiss. Subaru moaned, one hand tightening around Seishirou's and the other unclenching from the sheet to bury in Seishirou's hair.

"How can you," Subaru panted, when Seishirou broke off to bite and kiss a trail down his neck, "how can you still be wearing a suit? It's so hot."

In the shadowy half-light, Subaru could see Seishirou smirking. He sat up, one knee still between Subaru's thighs.

"What are you…?"

"Subaru-kun," Seishirou said wryly, "I didn't think you'd be so eager to see me undressed."

Subaru's eyes widened. "I didn't mean it like--! I mean, I, it's just, how can you wear a suit in this weather?"

Seishirou shook his head, freeing his hand from Subaru's to place a finger against his lips. "No, it's only fair. After all, you're not wearing anything."

Subaru squeaked, partially because he had forgotten that he was naked-- oh holy fuck, he was naked on a bed with Seishirou when had he entered the twilight zone?-- and partially because Seishirou was undoing his tie and shirt buttons deftly with one hand, indicating that he would soon be shirtless.

Subaru's brain presumably short-circuited somewhere along the line, because coherent thought was very much not happening.

The shirt and tie were discarded messily on the floor, and Subaru was so busy staring at Seishirou without a shirt-- excusable, he thought faintly, since he'd been fantasising about it for almost a decade-- to figure out what was going on when Seishirou guided his hands to his hips.

"Seishirou-san?" he said tentatively, eyes lifting to meet Seishirou's in mesmerised confusion.

Seishirou was still smirking. He moved, stretching over Subaru's body and there was so much slick heat between them that Subaru was having trouble focussing. Seishirou's lips were against his ear, brushing as he whispered something--

"Use your imagination, Subaru-kun."

-- and then his tongue was tracing patterns in the shell of Subaru's ear. I still have an imagination? Subaru thought blurrily, I thought it broke when you did that, but his body knew what to do because his hands were fumbling at Seishirou's belt before he could even really process.

Another kiss, even hotter and wetter than the first, and one of Seishirou's hands was tracing patterns on the sensitive skin above Subaru's hipbone. Subaru yelped, letting go of Seishirou's now unbuckled belt to clutch helplessly at Seishirou's shoulders when he bucked up. Seishirou pulled back again, this time to kick his trousers off to join his shirt on the floor, and then he was back, body flush against Subaru's and their legs tangled together. Subaru's arms wound around Seishirou's back again, clutching desperately before he realised that he was probably scratching Seishirou and reluctantly relaxed his hands.

Good intentions were abandoned by the wayside, however, when the leg between his slid upwards and Seishirou bit his neck. Hard.

"A-ah!" Subaru cried out, rocking upwards and raking deep red scratches down Seishirou's skin. Seishirou smile was feral as he licked Subaru's open mouth, and without any warning, flipped them over in a tangle of limbs so that a very disorientated Subaru was straddling him.

Hands slid up his thighs, slowly and sensuously, and by the time they came to a stop at his hips Subaru was whimpering and arching his back, collapsing forward onto Seishirou's chest in a mess of tangled pliant limbs. Seishirou seemed to have a fixation on his neck, sucking now at the pulse point hard enough to leave a mark that would last for days. Possessive as ever, but Subaru wanted to be marked as his, pressing into Seishirou's mouth desperately.

Seishirou sat up, bringing Subaru with him and holding his hips down hard so that they were pressed against each other. All the resistance went out of Subaru's muscles, leaving him to drape over Seishirou's shoulder and cling, brushing a few urgent kisses against Seishirou's shoulder and neck.

Seishirou yanked Subaru's head back gently to suck at his neck again, leaving angry red marks in his wake as he returned to Subaru's kiss-swollen mouth. Subaru was holding onto Seishirou's shoulders for balance again, so it was a complete shock when he was being pushed backwards, falling back onto the mattress with his legs bent awkwardly beneath him, tilting his hips up. He was staring up dazedly at the ceiling when Seishirou followed him down, lying between his spread legs.

Subaru winced slightly at the strain on his thighs, shifting uncomfortably to try and unfold his legs. Seishirou pulled back briefly to help him, lifting his legs up so they were still spread but not settling back down between them, instead leaning over the edge of the bed.

Subaru felt a moment of intense displacement. He was lying there, completely naked and willing, and Seishirou was ignoring him?

"Seishirou-san," he complained, flinching at how hoarse his voice sounded.

"Subaru-kun," Seishirou said patiently, his own voice just the tiniest bit strained, "do you really think I would abandon you at this stage? I'm just looking for something in my trench coat."

Subaru was about to ask what when realisation hit him like the bullet train, leaving him stunned and blushing. Seishirou was going to… they were really going to…

He was tempted to ask why on Earth Seishirou had lubrication in his trench coat, but he wasn't exactly sure he wanted to hear the answer. It could be disturbing. Then again, he could just be jealous.

Subaru quashed that thought with extreme prejudice.

He watched nervously as Seishirou poured it into the palm of his hand, slathering over his fingers, and reached down between Subaru's legs. Subaru started like a frightened rabbit; the lubrication wasn't cold, because nothing was cold in this heat, but it was a very intimate touch and he couldn't help but begin to question whether this was really the most advisable thing to be doing.

One of Seishirou's fingers slipped inside him; coherent though was having a hard time functioning. It only got so far as pointing out that sleeping with Seishirou probably wasn't a particularly smart thing today before common sense was overruled. The majority of Subaru felt that sleeping with Seishirou was quite possibly the best idea he'd ever had.

That didn't change the fact that this felt strange and ever so slightly uncomfortable, however. Two fingers. Subaru was making soft muffled yelping noises now, squirming as if trying to get away or get closer or maybe both at the same time.


The fingers withdrew. Subaru lay still, completely bewildered.

"Subaru-kun, look at me."

Slowly, he opened his eyes and blinked up at Seishirou. "A…aa."

"Give me your hand."

Seishirou's voice gave no hint as to what he was intending. Warily, Subaru released his death grip on the edge of the mattress and extended his hand towards Seishirou, who grasped it in his own slippery hand.

"Are you sure?"

Wordlessly, Subaru met Seishirou's mismatched gaze and tried to read what his eyes were saying. An exercise in futility; trying look through Seishirou was like trying to look through a mirror. He nodded anyway; now wasn't the kind of time to go changing one's mind. He didn't think he could even if he wanted to.


Twisting his hand so that it cupped Subaru's, Seishirou laced their fingers together and poured more of the lubrication into the palm of Subaru's hand. When Subaru's hand was as slippery with oil as his was, he tugged it downwards, eyes steadily trained on Subaru's the whole time.

Subaru hesitated, hand hovering about an inch from Seishirou's groin. Seishirou, hand still entwined with his, did not force any movement; he simply continued to watch Subaru in a bizarre stalemate.

Balking like this was ridiculous.

Taking a deep breath, Subaru's eyes fluttered closed again, blush rising to stain his cheeks. Nevertheless, he reached forward to coat Seishirou with the lubrication. Seishirou didn't make a noise, but his hand tightened slightly around Subaru's; Subaru wondered if Seishirou was surprised that he'd gone through with it.

With his eyes closed, Subaru was taken completely off balance when Seishirou leaned forward to kiss him again, bordering on the edge of roughness this time, and pulled their hands away to pin Subaru's arms above his head. Seishirou's weight was pressing him down into the bed, too hot and mildly awkward on the sprawl of his legs but he arched up eagerly against it.

Seishirou laughed quietly, warm breath teasing flushed skin. Another kiss, hands releasing Subaru's wrists to cup his face before leaning back again and yanking Subaru's hips up.

"Stay still," Seishirou warned when Subaru choked out a startled gasp. "This is going to hurt, but it will hurt less if you relax."

Subaru fought the urge to sigh or roll his eyes in exasperation. "I know, Seishirou-san," he said impatiently, voice uneven. "I'm not a child anymore."

The wrong thing to say, clearly. Seishirou's expression turned cold. "I see."

Nothing was moving, which was very frustrating and also worrisome. Watching Seishirou's face carefully for clues, Subaru tried to figure out what it was about his last comment that had irritated Seishirou so much. Seishirou must have caught some imaginary hidden meaning in it, or maybe…

An implication he didn't appreciate.

Finally figuring out what was presumably going through Seishirou's head, Subaru's complexion flared very predictably into red for what seemed like the nth time that evening. "Not like that, I didn't mean… I haven't… I mean… I just meant I'm not as naïve as I used to be!"

"Of course," Seishirou said calmly, but the tension melted away and his hands shifted again on Subaru's hips.

Subaru breathed a mental sigh of relief, and then marvelled at Seishirou's reaction. He'd known the older man was possessive, of course, but somehow it had never occurred to him that Seishirou might actually get jealous, especially over something so relatively minor.

An interesting thought, and one to be filed away for a time when Seishirou wasn't on his way to screwing him into the mattress.

"Oh god," Subaru said. At least, he thought he did; it was altogether possible that it had just been an incoherent moan. Pain. A dull ache, at first, building gradually into something almost vicious and he couldn't hold back the whimper. Relax, he ordered himself, relax, it'll wear off, but his body ignored him.

Seishirou stopped moving when Subaru tensed. Subaru expected him to say something, "are you okay?" or maybe "calm down", but he stayed silent, just waiting for Subaru to loosen his muscles again.

"I'm fine," Subaru said through gritted teeth, annoyed that Seishirou was trying to treat him gently now after everything between them. "If you don't move I'll kill you. I mean it."

"Somehow I don't believe you," Seishirou said dryly, but he was moving again so Subaru didn't care anyway. The pain was still there; it got worse before it got better, but then Seishirou brushed something inside of him that sent a jolt of pleasure mingling with the pain, just the right combination between the two.

Subaru was saying something, probably begging Seishirou to do something, but he couldn't even hear his own words over the roar of blood pulsing in his ears. Arms linked around Seishirou's shoulders and ankles around his waist and now they were both moving, rhythmic rocking like the waves in the ocean. The rhythm jarred at first, a melody played at the wrong tempo in the wrong key, but then they were close enough to perfect synchronicity as made no difference.

Maybe there was something symbolic in that. If there was, Subaru was unaware of it; his mind was on a completely different plane of reality.

The song reached its crescendo, Subaru's cries muffled by Seishirou's mouth and limbs giving way in a limp boneless sprawl. Seishirou really was too heavy to lie on top of him, but Subaru didn't protest or even try to move. He was completely exhausted.

Hot, so hot that it was difficult to sleep in any kind of scenario. It should have been impossible in a bed that smelled of sex, sheets rumpled and sweaty, particularly when he was lying in the arms of someone equally as hot as he was. Between them, the body heat was ridiculously high and they both were disgustingly sticky. It would have made much more sense to roll over and lie on different sides of the bed, insofar as that was possible. The conditions as they were weren't the kind one could reasonably expect to get any rest in whatsoever.

Subaru fell asleep anyway.


There was something he was meant to do. Subaru was almost sure of that. It had something to do with the apocalypse. He had to see Hinoto, something about a Kekkai…

Groaning softly, Subaru tried to roll out of bed only to find himself restrained by Seishirou's arm.

Oh. So he had forgotten something important. More than one thing, in fact.

"Where do you think you're going?" Seishirou asked, voice heavy with sleep and half muffled by the pillow.

"Kekkai," Subaru said tiredly, not being able to manage anything more illuminating than that.

"You can hardly walk," Seishirou pointed out grumpily. "You are not defending a Kekkai in this state. And if you try, I'll have no choice but to tie you up. Go back to sleep."

It was unfair, Subaru felt, that Seishirou could be so coherent when he was clearly just as exhausted as Subaru himself was. How could he be expected to win an argument under these terms? "But…"

"Not buts. Which would you prefer, fighting for a cause you don't believe in or staying in bed with me?"

When it was put like that, it wasn't really much of a choice. Stuff the Kekkai, Subaru thought rebelliously, punctuating the sentiment with a yawn and curling up against Seishirou's chest again, falling almost immediately back to sleep.

He was half woken perhaps thirty minutes later by talking.

"I thought after you weren't in your apartment that I might find you here."

"Really. And how did you know Subaru-kun's address?"

"I'm omnipotent. Obviously."

"Oh, obviously. If you don't stop looking at Subaru-kun you very shortly won't be."

"Possessive son of a bitch, aren't you?"


"I suppose it's no use asking you to go destroy a Kekkai, then."

"Monou, with all due respect…"

"Fuck that?"

"Essentially, yes."

"Or should I say it's the Sumeragi you're fucking?"

"Would you like me to kill you? Because it wouldn't be that much trouble, I assure you."

"I hope you recall that I am still your Kamui."

"Yes? So sorry that I'm not afraid of you, then."

Affronted snort.

"I may have to reconsider on the Kamui front, however."

"Reconsider? I hope this is your idea of a joke."


"You can't simply reconsider your destiny. It doesn't work like that."

"Don't sound so personally insulted. I've made it perfectly clear that I was only in this for my own reasons. Now I've changed my mind."


Amused. "Destiny is a myth. It's simply doing what people tell you you're supposed to do. Now if you please? Go molest your boy-toy, I'm busy."

"We will discuss this again, you realise."

"Of course. Go."

There was silence. Eventually, Subaru opened his eyes cautiously.

"Seishirou-san, was there someone here?"

"Nothing you need to be concerned about," Seishirou assured him. "Just go back to sleep, Subaru-kun."

"You're not going anywhere, are you?" Subaru asked suspiciously.

"No, I don't think so," Seishirou said mildly.

Subaru didn't seem overly reassured by this. "You promise?"

"If you insist."

"I insist," Subaru said firmly.

"Then no, I will definitely not be going anywhere," Seishirou said dryly. "Satisfied?"

There was a pause, Subaru staring down at the bed. It was too hot to sleep. "Not really. It's an empty promise."


Subaru looked up, a faintly bitter smile quirking his lips. "You're going to have to go some time. It's only a question of when."

"We'll see," Seishirou said noncommittally. "I find there's little point in worrying about the future. It only interrupts one's enjoyment of the present."

"Seishirou-san," Subaru said irritably, and tried in vain to pull away from Seishirou's arms. Seishirou merely tightened his hold.

"I won't be going anywhere that you are not at any point in the near future. Better?"

Subaru never got to voice his answer aloud, because as soon as the words left his mouth Seishirou tipped Subaru's head back for a kiss. If he had, though, he would have said: